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Tribute pours in for Lautoka affable

Fiji Sports

Salesh Kumar 'Pepo'Salesh Kumar 'Pepo'Footballers, rugby players and everyday people from around Lautoka paid tributes in honor of Salesh Kumar 'Pepo', one of Sugar City's biggest sporting fan.

Kumar, 49, passed away on Friday at his Waiyavi home.

Lautokans' of all ethnicity who knew him offered their condolences via social media, Facebook and by Sunday over 5000 messages was posted.

Simon Anand, a close friend, said Kumar was well known in Lautoka and had a special bond with its people and the sporting organizations.

"Pepo was a staunch supporter of local sports, be that soccer, rugby, tennis and or volleyball and all sporting fraternities.

"He supported TIV Sangam, Sanatan and Muslim tournaments, he was all about Lautoka.

"Pepo was districts' fan number one".

Simon said Pepo was unwell for some time but was always full of joy and laughter and that's who he was.

"He had a unique personality, loved people and people loved him for his jokes and mimicry".

Former footballers, Josefa Masalagi (NZ), Vishwa Nair (Australia) and double international Pita Dau (Fiji) expressed disbelief by sending their condolences.

Shafeel Imraz Sahib, a former Waiyavi resident, who calls Delta, BC, Canada home, said Pepo was a good family friend and an amazing soul who had respect for young and old, "he will be missed".

Kavekini Kaliova of Waiyavi said it's hard to believe a man who everyone loved in Lautoka passed away so soon.

"Nicest guy you could have befriended, he will be missed".

Kavekini said Pepo was no football, rugby, or some big star but an ordinary guy with extraordinary personality.

Neighbor and childhood friend, Praveen Para Binu couldn't have summed it better, “There will never be another friend like Pepo. He will forever be in our hearts. Rest in peace my dear friend”.

Krishna Sami, a music and cultural events promoter of Lautoka had days before featured him in a video promoting his Kirtan show.

"Pepo was one of my guests, he was looking forward to the show".

"With profound sadness, my family and I want to express our heartfelt condolences to Kumar family. We will all miss him".

Kumar's funeral service will be held on Wednesday in Waiyavi, Lautoka.


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